Lakes of the Ozarks

Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake is the second reservior in the White River chain of lakes. The dam was constructed in 1958, creating a lake that has 745 miles of shoreline. Table Rock's bottom was not cleared of trees so it's full of structure for fish to hold on. It's full of old cedars and hardwoods. In as much as 60 feet of water you'll find oaks peeping out of the waters' surface. It has shear-wall bluffs and slooping points, deep, rocky coves and pea gravel banks (all the fish habitats you'll need to keep you busy all day).

There are several major arms of Table Rock Lake- James River and Flat Creek coming from the north and the Springfield watershed and the White and Kings Rivers from the south-Fayetteville, Arkansas watershed. And then there's the Long Creek arm, also in the south but entering on the eastern side and the Harrison, Arkansas watershed.

Lake Taneycomo
Lake Taneycomo is a man-made lake or reservoir on the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Taney County, Missouri. The reservoir is named for the county in which it is located: Taney County, MO.

Lake Taneycomo originated when the White River was confined by the completion of the Powersite Dam, near Forsyth, Missouri. The Powersite Dam is privately owned by The Empire District Electric Company. From 1913 until 1958 it was a warm water lake. In the 1930s, tourists began to be drawn to the lake and its nearby communities, Branson and Rockaway Beach.

The completion of Table Rock Dam in 1958 changed the source of water to Taneycomo from that of the White River's flowing waters to the bottom tailwater of Table Rock Lake from the dam spillway and made
it into a cold water lake. The clear cold waters from the deep tailwaters of Table Rock Lake pour out of
the dam into Lake Taneycomo. These cold waters of Lake Taneycomo created some of the finest trout fishing anywhere in the world. To take advantage of this change the Missouri Department of Conservation constructed the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery. All methods of trout fishing - fly fishing, artificial bait, and live bait fishing - may be used year-round to pursue trout that inhabit the waters of Lake Taneycomo, however special regulations apply in the upper section. In order to improve the quality of the fishery, the Missouri Department of conservation established lure regulations and slot limits in 1997. From Table Rock Dam to the mouth of Fall Creek, only artificial flies and lures may be used, soft plastics are specifically prohibited. Rainbow trout must be less than 12" or greater than 20" to be harvested, and brown trout must be greater than 20" to be harvested. A daily limit of 4 trout applies, only one of which may be a brown trout. This upper section is generally regarded as a "trophy area" and catch and release fishing is widely practiced. Lake Taneycomo has the characteristics of both a river and a lake. The shallow colder water, located near the Table Rock Dam, averages 48 degrees F, resembles a river and permits wading and bank fishing for trout. The average temperature of the water gets warmer and the depth of the lake deepens to more than 50 feet near the Powersite Dam in Forsyth. When Table Rock Dam is generating power its current is very strong throughout its whole length, its water temperature drops, and for all practical purposes it becomes a very deep, cold, fast running river. Exactly how deep, cold, and fast depends on how many generators are being used to generate electricity at Table Rock Dam.

Lake Taneycomo offers a variety of recreational activities including hiking, sightseeing, hunting, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, boating, and water skiing. People accessing Lake Taneycomo are able to visit area restaurants, hotels, shopping, and shows in the Branson area.

Bull Shoals Lake
Bull Shoals Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. It has hundreds of miles of lake arms and coves perfect for boating, water sports, swimming, and fishing. Nineteen developed parks around the shoreline provide campgrounds, boat launches, swim areas, and marinas.

Bull Shoals Dam was created to impound the White River by one of the largest concrete dams in the United States and the 5th largest dam in the world at its inception. Work on the dam began in 1947, was completed in 1951 and dedicated by President Truman in 1952. At least seven small family cemeteries and 20 larger cemeteries were meticulously relocated to accommodate the new lake.

Bull Shoals Lake impounds the White River for the last time as water travels toward its mouth on the Mississippi River. Bull Shoals is thus the lake farthest downstream in a chain of four artificial lakes that include (from upstream to downstream) Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. The lake is controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers and has the primary purpose of flood control. The level of the lake fluctuates regularly with a normal pool level elevation of 654 feet above sea level, which is locally known as powerpool. However, the lake regularly fluctuates between an elevation of 630 to 680 feet. The shoreline of the lake is totally undeveloped and protected by a buffer zone (locally called the "take line") owned, operated, managed, and controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers. The dam is designed for a maximum elevation of 695 feet (top of the flood pool). Bull Shoals Lake covers 45,000 acres with a 700 mile shoreline at powerpool to more than 70,000 acres with a 1,000 mile shoreline at 690 feet. The bottom of the lake consists of bedrock with very limited vegetation. The shoreline is heavily forested.

Bull Shoals-White River State Park is a 725 acre park both above and below the massive dam. Facilities, including camping, pavilions, dock and interpretive programs, stretch along the banks of the White River. Along the lakeshore, the park offers picnic sites and playgrounds.